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Old 12-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #21
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Re: Sojourner

Hey Nat,
Thanks for the encouragement. I have spent 25 years as a yacht mechanic so yes I do know the issues possible with electrical gauges. Most are with calibration issues (tach's and such) though and even in as corrosive and vibration prone environment as boats they seem to hold up surprisingly well, all things considered. The current gauge cluster does in fact utilize a mechanical oil pressure and air pressure gauges. Temp will be mechanical if possible as well. All others, due to distance will have to have sensors. As far as the doors, I was looking at the unit yesterday and found that the sheet metal I would be dealing with is flat anyhow. Adapting the doors off a cab should be fairy easy (famous last words ). I'm looking at electric step units for cab access but my wife says "too expensive". The only other solution is to use countersunk foot holds and handrails to climb aboard. We're both truck drivers kids so this might be a bit nostalgic to us, however, we are not nearly as young as we used to be and as of present have not found out how to reverse the aging process. Thinking ahead for the future.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:43 PM   #22
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Re: Sojourner

Got a bit more done today. I had previously got all the seats loose and tried to sell them on craigslist but no go. So, I spent part of the day getting the upholstery off and tossing them outside in one pile and the metal frames in another. They're going to the metal scrapyard on Friday.
Getting the last one done. Lori spent most of the time sweeping over and over. I think you could sweep for a week and not get all the dust out of this one.


The customary pic of a pile of upholstery.


Stacking the frames.


Got it pretty much emptied out.


I've been working on some projects (launching a new business http://www.myaquafarm.com) before I'll be able to devote a lot of time to the project but even though it's a dirty job at this point it is good to finally see an empty floor. I'm going to strip the entire inside, in the near future, as I get the time since this part actually doesn't take much for money.

If I remember, I'm going to check out a local semi salvage yard tomorrow to see if I can pick up a cab reasonable to salvage the doors.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:38 AM   #23
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Re: Sojourner

it's always amazing when it's cleaned out and you look and say "dang, that's a lot of room"
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:20 AM   #24
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Re: Sojourner

Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourner
I've been working on some projects (launching a new business http://www.myaquafarm.com) before I'll be able to devote a lot of time to the project but even though it's a dirty job at this point it is good to finally see an empty floor. I'm going to strip the entire inside, in the near future, as I get the time since this part actually doesn't take much for money.
Love the aqua farm approach. Since you have all this free time You should come up with a skoolie sized system that we can take on the road. I think there would be a few interested, not sure there are enough of us to help you make a profit though.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #25
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Re: Sojourner

Quote:
Love the aqua farm approach. Since you have all this free time You should come up with a skoolie sized system that we can take on the road. I think there would be a few interested, not sure there are enough of us to help you make a profit though.
Not sure if you know it or not but I'm the guy who wrote the Barrel-ponics manual http://www.fastonline.org/images/man...ics_manual.pdf and released it free in 2005 (the first to give this info away). Unless it can be profitable, I can't afford to develop any more systems. The cost of "free to others' has been very high personally. Unfortunately, I can no longer afford to do things that aren't profitable at this time. The My AquaFarm system takes up only 24sq.ft. though and would be something done on a trailer/greenhouse (thinking of doing that myself).
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:40 PM   #26
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Re: Sojourner

Congratulations on the new Skoolie project and major kudos on the aqua-ponics venture. I hope is funds all of your dreams, cause it looks like you're already having fun.

What a close call on your maiden voyage; glad to see you pulled through that one with flying colours (pun intended). But seriously happy to hear it is a laughter spot in the past.

I have toyed with the idea of a small aqua-ponics system in my skoolie (when it happens) and had a few up front and obvious (to me) thoughts- first probably a good idea to have a water tight lid over the fishes, right? Second, how will the fish deal with the stress of movement and possibly bumping into the walls of the tank and what ever else may be in there?

Has anything like that been done? Or even someone with an aquarium?


Best Wishes and happy thoughts
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:12 PM   #27
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Hey Redbone,
You may have a few issues with doing aquaponics in a skoolie. Not saying it would be impossible or anything like that, just going to have some "issues". One is the weight, depending on the media you use these systems can get very heavy. Gravel is 110 lbs./cu. ft. and water is 8 lbs./gallon with 7.48 gallons per cu. ft. Needless to say they can be problematic. Lighter weight medias might have problems with plants falling out during travel. The other issues you will have is sloshing of the weight of the water during transport. In a large system that would equate to basically a lot of load shifting. The height of a system would also be an issue unless you were to depend on using extra pumps to move the water around. Honestly, you would be better off doing straight aquaculture with a half filled tank during transport (they won't get banged around too much unless heavily stocked) and "fertigating" soil based beds with fish water. The fish tank could be designed to throw the water back in to the tank during travel with a rounded inward facing edge. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #28
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Took the seat frames to the scrap yard today and sold them. While there, I asked the guy if he ever got any semi cabs or anything like that. I told him what I was doing (converting a school bus into an RV (Residential Vehicle)) and he was very interested. He said he did get cabs in and asked what I wanted it for. I told him I wanted to use the doors and frames and integrate them into the cab to make individual access into the cab like a semi truck. I gave him my card and he said he'd call me when the next one came in. Turns out I can buy the parts by the pound rather than the $450.00/door (minus the frame) from a salvage yard. Maybe if we're patient we can score some cool parts for Sojourner!!
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:17 PM   #29
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Re: Sojourner

Gotta love scrap yards! When I was living in West Virginia not too long ago, there was a scrap yard that didn't care if you took scrap out. They just paid the difference of what you weighted, so you couldn't technically weight more when you left- for the owner and books' sake.

I hope your parts come too you fast as you are ready for them and as you need them. Looking forward to watching your build.

Thanks so much for the advice. I hadn't even thought about many of the points you brought up- I had thought about the weight, but never truly looked at numbers and the straight "fertigating"seems way easier to put in AND take out. Maybe it will make it into the final plans some how. I have no experience with aquaponics needless to say, so the types of media are foreign to me in that application. I'll keep what you have said in my ind when I do more research on this subject. Thanks again
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:14 PM   #30
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Re: Sojourner

Looking forward to reading more about your busses transformation.. Where in SC do you live?? (Please say the low country) I'm in Bluffton and if your close by maybe I can give you some free labor
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:09 AM   #31
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Re: Sojourner

Hey Gsragtop,
I'm not that terribly far from you. I live near Andrews (used to be much closer to you in Mt. Pleasant). A bit of a drive but nothing like across the state. Would love to meet you sometime. I'll try to PM you my home number. Do you have a skoolie?
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

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Old 12-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #32
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Re: Sojourner

Nice bus, check out what I did with my door situation. Newfiedogs, look for Hank,youlubdabus
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:53 PM   #33
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Hey Newfiedogs,
Nice job. I'd love to get any photo's you might want to share concerning framing and such (maybe we can swap email addy's and I do a dropbox thing). Did you have any structural issues framing n the larger windows? I know my wife would like us to use the windows out of a donor travel trailer we used fo years with the family but fell apart around itself.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #34
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Re: Sojourner

No problem,
I will dig up what I can find on framing on our project. It may take a few days but you never know it may spark an idea on your end. I love this forum, we are all crazy about these things and are here to help out our fellow addicts.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #35
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THANK YOU!! I see you're an AmTrans kinda guy as well. Any particular issues you had that I should be on the look out for? Lori and I will ultimately be full timing in it so I know what you mean by crazies. Some think we are but others think it would be cool o make that kind of transition, just not sure they can (or will give up a lot of "stuff". Personally we're looking forward to downsizing!!
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:36 PM   #36
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Re: Sojourner

Well,
Rear main seals in these are fun, that was the first in depth experience for me. It was not too bad with help from people here.
Other than that, I have had to replace the trans (545) with a rebuilt. That lump of fun happened to us almost into Canada. The mechanic said that it had the wrong 545 in it to start with. Drove it for two years to find that out? That just says the school or others before me had done that. Who knew! I would like to add a trans cooler to it in the near future .
These things are all cobbled together at some point the only way to avoid that is buy a new one off the line. But who could do that, right?
The door idea that you have would be great but the climb in would get old before the paint was dry. Just my opinion and that is why I like this place. The thing you have to think about too is the structure of the front end. If you took a front hit there would be not much there to protect you and the one screaming next to you. I had thought about doing the same but changed my mind.
The cab over style of body that we both have seems to me to sag over time. I wanted to add structure to it that is why I went with the midship door idea. I had to add a lot of steel tube to do so but feel safer. Also the electrical relocation on the drivers side would be a huge time suck. The window that I installed on the passenger side is the same as the drivers off a doner bus. I had to flip the panels to allow for the drains to work right i think.
We have had ours to Canada several times, Alabama and many others and have not looked back for jumping into this addiction. You will be the most popular rig in the campgrounds and that's what it's all about. The thing you have to keep in mind while converting your bus, stand back from the mess and ask yourself if what your about to do next will keep you from getting out and enjoying it. The conversion never really ends.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:59 PM   #37
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Re: Sojourner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newfiedogs
. You will be the most popular rig in the campgrounds and that's what it's all about. The thing you have to keep in mind while converting your bus,
Tracy
..... is that if you are a "loner" and don't like conversation with strangers...don't ever stay in a camp ground (everyone wants to look inside)

OR you can buy a pre made S&S

finished it for you .........
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #38
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Mine has the MT643 trans and yes a trans cooler is in my future. Yea, service on any of this type configuration is trouble. I spent most of my career working on engines in unnatural places. As far as relocating the electrics, I was already planning on that as I plan to totally remove all the electrical (except strip the engine harness) and anything to do with the body. THe engine electrics will be on their own system and the rest of the house whether AC or DC will be on a separate set of circuits altogether. I spent over 25 years as a boat mechanic and have redone several boats (including ones sent to shows) for others from the hull up. Looking forward to doing it on my own for a change. There are several things about hose locations and such that just plain lack common sense. For instance, who was the moron that thought it was a good idea to run the cooling hoses under the front cross member? Seriously? Does one think just because you put a plastic cover on it it will not magically drag? It will be a challenge but I think I can do a much cleaner job 9most of it will simply be eliminated. Kinda wondering how the cab can sag though. Thanks for the heads up on it. My wife and I are both truck drivers kids and grew up climbing in to the seat. Not planning at this time to do a lot of traveling as it will be our "Residential Vehicle". We'll still keep access to the rest of the bus from inside though. I just didn't want anyone to have to climb over the doghouse to get in. I have found it very cumbersome. On another note, do you know where I can get my hands on a digital service manual set for this bus? I hear you on the visitation thing. Nothing catches the eye like a skoolie whether well done or otherwise. They're kinda like goats, you either love them or hate them. Not much middle ground. Thanks for all the info, It is greatly appreciated!! Now I just need to get some things done here so I can move it into the shop!! Not planning on cutting the roof for the clerestory out in the wide open spaces.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:30 PM   #39
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Re: Sojourner

Quote:
..... is that if you are a "loner" and don't like conversation with strangers...don't ever stay in a camp ground (everyone wants to look inside)

OR you can buy a pre made S&S
We've stayed in our share of campgrounds over time when the kids were little in our travel trailer. While I do think it will happen from time to time, we're really looking forward to trying our hand at boondocking (hopefully with some friends). Gonna set it up to do both for sure. Kinda strange, the older I get the more solitude I seem to crave. Not that I'm anti social (I wouldn't be here if I were) just really like the quiet. Maybe I'm going all hermital and all.
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I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:09 PM   #40
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Re: Sojourner

I have always been "a social butterfly" since we have had the bus....my wife is so...so..."butterfly-ish" she is not shy anymore; when we roll onto the scene she knows what happens next ...oooh....oooh....don't tell her but I have noticed she dresses "nicer" when we roll into a campground....she's first on the scene...goes for backdoor (she has already checked levels in bus)....and hits the backdoor in a: dress,skirt; or mini skirt(I wish ) and proceeds to get blocks out...(I am inside cooling turbo, getting electric checking tools out (fluk meter,multimeter and plug in polari light checker)its) funny when you hear a next door campsite "a city girl/woman say...honey don't let her do that"
And I get of the bus and Lisa has a couple folks around her wanting to help...wives are like "honey...this...honey that... hahah...Lisa knows all that...or she has me ME!! Ahahaha. It's all part of the skoolie game
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